Vendor to be chosen to replace street lights
The Board of Selectmen will move forward with a decision to pick a vendor to buy street lamps to replace more than 800 sodium lights with more energy efficient LED ones that emit bright white light.
The board voted unanimously last week to ask Town Public Works Director Ed Gentile and Finance Director Katherine Buch to choose a vendor and bring a final plan before the board for approval at its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.
“I’m a big supporter of this project; it is a no-brainer,” Republican Selectman Gerald Nielsen said.
“I agree it goes under the heading of continued cost savings for the town,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.
A preliminary projection provided by Eversource Energy, the owner of the lights, shows the town would save nearly $90,000 a year on reduced energy costs from switching to LED lights, which last longer and use much less energy.
Stevenson has said she has been working toward the plan with Eversource for four years, after noticing the LED technology while driving in Stamford and believing it provided better light.
The LED fixtures are expected to be longer-lasting and more durable, but also allow the town to consider upgrading the system with cameras or provide wider spread Wi-Fi capability, potential vendors told the board in September.
The board also heard a presentation from Craig Flaherty, chairman of the town’s Recycling Center Advisory Committee, about the group’s work and the savings and other benefits the town has garnered through adopting single stream recycling since May 2012 at the town’s recycling and refuse station on Ledge Road.
Between July 2012 and September 2012 and the same period this year, the amount of recycling generated in Darien increased from 430 tons to 683 tons, Flaherty said. The amount of trash generated during those same two periods declined from 903 tons in 2012 to 700 tons in 2015, saving the town an estimated $100,000 a year.
The town makes about $15 a ton in revenue for recycling, and has started making $100 a ton for textile recycling and added recycling for mattress and box springs at the town refuse center.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in recycling and a like decrease in the trash we create,” Flaherty said.
“It is really incredible to me see the work you have done with virtually no money but a lot of passion and untold hours of volunteer time,” Stevenson said. “Please take back to your committee how grateful we are as a board and we’re looking forward to working with you on the energy initiative.”